Rayban, Chloë 1944–

views updated

Rayban, Chloë 1944–

[A pseudonym]

(Carolyn Bear)

PERSONAL: Born April 10, 1944, in Exeter, England; daughter of Richard Eric Leo (a banker) and Marjorie (a homemaker; maiden name, Rix) Salter; married Peter Julian Bear (an advertising director), 1967; children: Claudia Bear, Leonora Clare Bear. Education: University of Newcastle upon Tyne, B.A. (philosophy; with honors); attended University of Western Australia. Politics: "Socialist." Religion: Church of England (Anglican). Hobbies and other interests: Painting.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Laura Cecil, 17 Alwyne Villas, London N1 2HG, England.

CAREER: Novelist and scriptwriter. McCann Erickson, London, England, advertising copywriter, beginning 1965; Craton, Lodge & Knight (product development agency), creative director, until 1980; freelance copywriter and scriptwriter for videos and multimedia installations.

MEMBER: Societé d'Emulation du Bourbonnais (France), VMF Paris, Hurlingham Club (London, England).

AWARDS, HONORS: Guardian Fiction Prize shortlist, 1995, and Carnegie Medal shortlist, 1996, both for Love in Cyberia.



(Under name Carolyn Bear) Under Different Stars, Methuen (London, England), 1988, published under name Chloë Rayban, Mammoth (London, England), 1998.

Footprints in the Sand ("Back2back" series), Collins (London, England), 1999.

Watching You, Watching Me ("Back2back" series), Collins (London, England), 1999.

Drama Queen, Bloomsbury (London, England), 2004.

Wrong Number, Barrington Stoke (London, England), 2004.

Author's books have been translated into German, Danish, Swedish, Italian, Russian, Polish, French, Icelandic, and Greek.


Wild Child, Bodley Head (London, England), 1991, revised, Red Fox (London, England), 1998.

Virtual Sexual Reality Bodley Head (London, England), 1994.

Love in Cyberia, Bodley Head (London, England), 1996.

Terminal Chic, Bodley Head (London, England), 2000.


Screen Kiss, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1997.

Clash on the Catwalk, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1997.

Havana to Hollywood, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1997.

Street to Stardom, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1997.


The Starring Role, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1998.

Skin Deep, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1998.

Typecast, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1999.

Boy Babe, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1999.


(Under name Carolyn Bear) The Last Loneliest Dodo, Roger Schlesinger, 1974.

(Under name Carolyn Bear) No Time for Dinosaurs, Roger Schlesinger, 1975.

(Under name Carolyn Bear) Digby the Biggest Dog in the World, Lexington Press, 1976.

(Under name Carolyn Bear) Johnny Tomorrow, Heinrich Hanau, 1977.

(Under name Carolyn Bear) The Tangled Spell, Methuen (London, England), 1986.

(Under name Carolyn Bear) Scrapman, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1996.

(Under name Carolyn Bear) Scrapman and Scrapcat, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1999.

(Under name Carolyn Bear) Scrapman and the Incredible Flying Machine, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2000.

Tiger Boy (picture book), illustrated by John Prater, Red Fox (London, England), 2000.

(Under name Carolyn Bear) Psid and Bolter, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2002.

(Under name Carolyn Bear) Town Dog, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2003.

ADAPTATIONS: Johnny Tomorrow was adapted as an audio book; Virtual Sexual Reality was adapted by Nick Fisher as the film Virtual Sexuality, directed by Nick Hurran and starring Kieran O'Brien and Laura Fraser, Columbia TriStar, 1998.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Two volumes in "My Life Starring Mum" series, for Bloomsbury.

SIDELIGHTS: Chloë Rayban is the pseudonym of British writer Carolyn Bear. Beginning her writing career as an advertising copywriter and creative director for several top London agencies, she began writing books for younger children in the 1980s, after becoming a freelance writer. Under her Rayban pseudonym, Bear has gained popularity among teen girls for her popular series featuring sixteen-year-old Justine Duval. Justine is part of the materialistic social scene of 1990s London, but through the experiences she encounters in novels such as Wild Child, Love in Cyberia, Terminal Chic, and Virtual Sexual Reality—the last which was also adapted as a motion picture—she is prompted to question the values her peers live by. Cited for its sharp wit and likeable teen heroine, Rayban's Wild Child was praised by a School Librarian reviewer as a novel that "is funny, doesn't lecture, and [sure to] … provoke some interesting reaction." In a review of Love in Cyberia for Books for Keeps, a reviewer also commended Rayban's time-travel novel, writing that its "journalistic style" "makes an art out of the hectic and fashionably eccentric" 1960s society in which the "stylish" and lovelorn Justine finds herself during a surf on the Web.

Rayban once commented: "I started writing books for children because I had a daughter who didn't like reading. A life without books seemed to me the ultimate deprivation, so a set about writing something I thought would appeal to her. My second daughter then got in on the act. As teenagers, they told me precisely what they wanted—books that were funny, fast-paced, and contemporary. So I came up with the "Justine" books. For which they, inadvertently, provided most of the source material. Rather ruefully, they admitted they enjoyed the books.

"As my children have grown up my prime source material is no longer on my doorstep. I am now forced to sink to such devious things as eavesdropping—the tops of buses are ideal territory—and the advent of mobile phones has been a literary blessing (people don't seem to realize how loud they're talking).

"Currently, I'm writing a series for Bloomsbury about the daughter of a pop-idol. It's a satire on celebrity whose heroine is a girl who doesn't want to be famous—to her mother's horror she wants to be a vet. I'm working on book two of the series right now and it's set in the States. Once again the daughters have proved handy. I have one who is currently a freelance journalist in L.A. As my on-location researcher she's updating me on all the latest gossip on the stars, the star-struck, and the star-crossed (she's having boyfriend trouble right now).

"I am also working on a novel for adults (or a real book as my husband calls it). However, I believe firmly that novels for teenagers are real books. Teenagers are a tough audience to please but refreshingly open to original ideas. Sadly, it's during the teenage years that we lose most readers. I just hope that I've helped a few burgeoning adults not to miss out on one of life's greatest pleasures: curling up with a good book." Rayban makes her home in both England and France.



Books for Keeps, January 1, 1997, review of Love in Cyberia.

Just Seventeen, November 6, 1996, review of Love in Cyberia.

Nature, November 30, 2000, review of Terminal Chic, p. 49.

School Librarian, May, 1992, review of Wild Child, p. 72; November, 1994, review of Virtual Sexual Reality, p. 166; November, 1997, review of Screen Kiss, p. 214; autumn, 2004, Chris Brown, review of Drama Queen, p. 156.

Times Educational Supplement, May 2, 1997, review of Love in Cyberia, p. 8; July 3, 1998, review of Wild Child, p. 11; July 23, 1999, review of Watching You, Watching Me, p. 31; August 11, 2000, review of Terminal Chic, p. 22.


Chloë Rayban Home Page, http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/cyberia (September 27, 2005).